Articles Tagged with personal injury lawsuit

It was one of those injuries that was described as a “freak accident” by local news media. But as is often the case in such matters, such a description shouldn’t be construed to mean it wasn’t preventable. auto mechanic

An auto mechanic in California was retained in 2011 by an auto towing company and its owner to ascertain why a vehicle owned by the company wouldn’t start. Unbeknownst to the plaintiff, the towing company had disconnected the transmission shift linkage in order to tow the vehicle to the company’s property. After the vehicle was towed, the driver failed to reconnect the shift linkage. The plaintiff made sure the vehicle was in “park,” and then he went underneath to determine what was wrong with the vehicle. As soon as he started testing the electrical connection to the starter, the vehicle ran him over and dragged him through the parking lot. His spine was crushed.

The plaintiff later reached a settlement with the towing company and its owner for the insurance policy limit of $1 million. That settlement released all former defendants from liability. The settlement also released “affiliates” of the defendant. About three months after that settlement was finalized, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the property owner, from which the towing company had leased land. The property owner operated a used car dealership on the site.

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Ladders are a major cause of occupational deaths, and they are also a significant problem for those doing work around the home. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention report that falls are the No. 1 cause of unintentional injury deaths nationally, and nearly 45 percent of all deadly falls over the last 10 years have involved a ladder.ladder

When an injury occurs at work as a result of a ladder fall, the person hurt will likely want to explore a workers’ compensation claim. If the injury did not happen at work, the injured person will want to look into a claim against the manufacturer or distributor of the ladder, or perhaps the owner of the property.

In the recent case of Baugh v. Cuprum S.A., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld an $11 million verdict against the manufacturer of a ladder involved in a ladder fall. The plaintiff was a 224-pound man who fell off a five-foot, A-frame aluminum ladder while he was replacing several rusty screws in a gutter on his garage. He suffered serious bruising and bleeding in the frontal area of his brain, which in turn resulted in chronic seizures, dementia, and quadriplegia. His cognitive ability is severely impaired, and he will no longer live a normal life.

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Victims of violent crimes must often deal with great trauma that reverberates long after the immediate danger is over. The criminal justice system seeks accountability from the perpetrators of those crimes, who are seen to have not just violated the victim’s rights but also the rules and laws of society. Meanwhile, the civil justice system is a forum where victims can seek compensation to help them in their journey to become whole again. Of course, our Spartanburg injury attorneys understand no amount of money takes away the pain and suffering. But it can help with the healing. It is also another means by which to hold a defendant accountable for his or her crimes.sad face

This is the approach being taken by a Spartanburg woman who was recently discovered by authorities after having been held captive in a storage container on a 100-acre plot owned by her former boss for nearly three months. She and her boyfriend were allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint by her former boss, who then is accused of fatally shooting her boyfriend and then physically attacking her throughout the course of her captivity. The 30-year-old victim was reportedly kept in chains in the container. After she was discovered, her boyfriend’s body was found. The former boss is now accused of killing six others, including four in a previously unsolved 2003 killing at a motor sports shop and a husband and wife who went missing in 2015. He is in jail awaiting trial on numerous felony charges.

Meanwhile, the plaintiff has filed a civil lawsuit to recover damages from her former boss, who owns a business and several properties.

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Tours of haunted houses are supposed to be thrilling. Being shocked by gory scenes or spooky apparitions is all part of the experience. But these experiences aren’t supposed to cause real danger. When they do, and someone is injured, the operators and promoters of the haunted house may face legal liability in real life.spooky

That’s what happened to a Michigan woman who suffered serious injuries in 2014. According to The Oakland Press, the plaintiff was knocked to the ground when a moving wall suddenly knocked her down in a poorly lit aisle. As a result of her fall, the plaintiff suffered severe fractures to her leg, as well as a soft tissue injury to her back and spine, lacerations, and bruising.

A personal injury lawsuit she filed against the company was recently settled for $125,000. The owner of the operation declined to comment, except to release a brief statement insisting the operation is safe and has been in business for many years.

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Plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits are often required to submit to physical examinations of their injuries by doctors chosen by the defense. These exams are sometimes referred to as “independent medical exams,” but make no mistake: The doctor is being paid by the defense, and that is almost certainly how their opinion will skew.parkinglot2

Essentially, any time a plaintiff’s physical or mental condition is in controversy, any other party can serve notice and direct that party to undergo a physical or mental examination by a designated provider.

This was the situation in the recent case of In re H.E.B. Grocery Co., L.P., weighed by the Texas Supreme Court. Continue reading

In the recent case of Houston v. C.G. Security Services, Inc., a plaintiff in Indiana alleged negligent security was a proximate cause of her slip-and-fall injury sustained during a New Year’s Eve hotel party. stairs6

The appeal in the case recently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit concerned defendant’s reported engagement in a pattern of “obstreperous discovery behavior,” including submitting false documentation and impeding the fair conduct of depositions.

Although the court granted summary judgment to defendant on the issue of liability, it nonetheless imposed sanctions (as recommended by a magistrate), which included ordering defendant to pay $119,000 in plaintiff’s attorney’s fees and $16,500 in plaintiff’s court costs. That ruling was later affirmed by the federal appeals court.  Continue reading

You may know that the majority of personal injury lawsuits never make it to trial. A big reason for that is that many are settled out-of-court before they ever reach that stage.

But there is another reason too: Summary judgments and motions to dismiss. caraccident7

All civil lawsuits have to meet the basic merit requirements before proceeding. Motions to dismiss and for summary judgment can be filed by the defendant prior to trial. Both are essentially requests to the judge to toss the plaintiff’s case. In order to succeed in a summary judgment motion, defendant has to convince the judge:

  • There is no dispute as to the material facts of the case;
  • Plaintiff failed to meet his or proof burden;
  • Defendant should prevail as a matter of law.

Courts are not supposed to hand down a summary judgment if there continue to be disputes of material facts in the case. However, it’s not uncommon for a defense lawyer to file a summary judgment fairly early in the proceedings and set a hearing prematurely on the issue. The strategy is to get the issue before the judge before there is ample evidence to show a dispute of material fact.  Continue reading

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